Ghost games are rather rare in active gaming. They are usually imposed as a penalty on clubs that miss lucrative ticket sales. However, there are also exceptional cases that require a game without spectators, as happened in the 2020 season when the Covid 19 pandemic not only caused a break of several weeks, but also promoted ghost games in the Bundesliga and other major leagues worldwide. For you, however, this does not mean that you have to forego betting. The betting sites react, which holds chances and risks at the same time! Basically, the same rules apply for betting on ghost games as for all other bets.
Betting on ghost games FAQ
What must be considered when betting on ghost games?
Basically, betting on ghost games is handled by the betting site in exactly the same way as sports betting with spectators. So there is nothing to pay particular attention to when betting on ghost games.
Are there live bets on ghost games?
Yes! For ghost games there is exactly the same range of live bets available as for games with spectators.
Will there be other betting odds due to ghost games?
Yes. Teams like Eintracht Frankfurt, which always have a very good atmosphere in the stadium, lose part of their home advantage. Therefore, you can already see from the odds that Eintracht is the clear outsider in the game against Borussia Mönchengladbach despite a relatively good home record.
Are bets on ghost games lucrative?
Betting on ghost games is just as lucrative as betting on games in a full stadium. Some surprises can be expected, especially at the restart of the Bundesliga, here you should analyze the games and the odds very carefully.
Are there betting providers where ghost games of the Bundesliga can be followed in a live stream?
There are, but for license reasons it is not possible for German users to follow the Bundesliga ghost games with a betting provider in the livestream. However, the pay-TV broadcaster Sky shows all games in a conference, at least on the first two game days, for free.
What are ghost games?
In technical jargon, games are referred to in which there are no spectators in the stadium – or at least not in any significant number. Of course, many official representatives still take a seat on the side of the field, and it is also conceivable that some seats will be allocated to selected people. Nevertheless, ghost games are by no means comparable to a conventional game, because without a large number of spectators, the clubs on the pitch lack a lot of support. The viewer, on the other hand, misses the mood that usually culminates in a boiling stadium and a heated game.
However, some of these restrictions cannot be prevented. The 2020 season presented both clubs and official representatives of the sports with a major challenge. Minimum distance regulations or even contact restrictions make regular games almost impossible – the seats and standing room are staggered. However, in order to keep the game going, the officials decided to host the games without spectators. Fans and sports betting enthusiasts can look forward to resuming the game, but at the same time have to come to terms with the fact that the setting and atmosphere in the stadium will not be able to match fully occupied grandstands.
Sports betting site on the other hand, ghost games pose a whole new challenge that has never existed in history – at least not on such a large scale and for such a long time. Spectators play a role, especially in sports betting, especially for teams that are strongly defined by their home strength and active support from fans.
Adjustment of game operations and betting to ghost games
In the past years and decades, it has become clear that the home strength of teams no longer has as great an impact on the odds of bets as it did before. Especially in the 1960s and 1970s, bookmakers largely preferred teams playing in their own stadium for their sports betting. Of course not by chance. At that time, teams with a home advantage could win around 60 percent of all their games, which of course had a significant impact on betting odds. A look into the recent past shows that this is no longer necessarily the case: in the 2019/2020 season, no home team managed to celebrate a point win for themselves on the first six match days.
There are many reasons for this, for example:
- Guest teams no longer have to go through lengthy and demanding travel hassles
- The comfort that players enjoy with top teams has generally increased
- Today’s players are very familiar with the international game world, a game in front of the “opposing” fans is no longer a big challenge
Furthermore, games are broadcast in a variety of ways these days, from classic TV broadcasts to streams on the Internet or podcasts. A visit to the stadium is therefore no longer absolutely necessary to be able to enjoy the game to the fullest. This is demonstrated, among other things, by the numerous downsizing of stadiums already built in Italy or the USA.
Nevertheless, ghost games, especially over such a long period of time, are a new challenge for bookmakers, players, club officials and of course the fans themselves. If these were an exception to date, they will now become the new standard due to the pandemic that raged in 2020 – with all the advantages and disadvantages that come with it in practice.
Another disadvantage that should not be underestimated arises with regard to the officials. No referee will admit it, but statistics and observations show that a yellow box is more likely to be pulled out if the entire stadium is outraged by a foul or a lack of sportsmanship. The home teams are now denied the support of the fans, who put pressure on the officials to a certain extent.
You could take this into account when placing your bets. Nobody knows exactly how it will go before, but there is a realistic chance that cards may be drawn a little less often. The noisy backdrop, the outrage and the pressure associated with it are simply missing, making such a decision much less emotional for the officials. Bookmakers will also consider this in their sports betting. It is therefore to be expected that lower odds will be issued from now on when betting on yellow or red cards or their number. Statistically, this will probably underline the active game operation by giving fewer cards on average than before.
The home advantage remains even with ghost games!
However, all of these reasons and circumstances do not mean that home teams will lose their full advantage. The amateur leagues are proof of this. They almost always play in camera or only in front of a very small audience. Nevertheless, the statistics show that the home teams are more likely to score points. The same will inevitably be reflected in the odds of sports betting, because bookmakers also know, of course, that the home advantage does not fizzle out just because the fans are missing in the home stadium.
It is precisely this home stadium that still offers the teams that play “at home” an important advantage. They are familiar with the local conditions down to the last detail and know the lawn and every single crooked blade of grass – exaggerated. Therefore, in sports betting based on ghost games, the home teams will continue to enjoy improved odds. Although this advantage, at least in terms of odds, is unlikely to be as significant as one would expect from a full stadium.
Last but not least, a home game also has an immense psychological effect on the players. Even though the lack of spectators will make a blatant weakness and big difference, they still know that they are playing in “their” city and “their” stadium. The feeling of playing in your own “four walls” provides psychological support, which in turn can be reflected in the performance on the pitch.
So while such ghost games have an impact on sports betting, players and clubs, they should be seen as a disadvantage especially for the home teams. Conversely, this does not mean that any advantages of a home game will be lost. In summary, home teams still enjoy these advantages:
- You know the lawn and any peculiarities of the place
- They feel at home in their stadium, cabin and tunnels
- You have a shorter and more carefree journey than the guests of the guest team
- Friends and relatives may receive VIP tickets where the attendance is sufficiently large
- Trainers and other responsible people will mentally adjust the players to the new circumstances in order to weaken the effect of the ghost games
Betting on ghost games: this is how you react adequately
Of course, you shouldn’t turn your sports betting completely upside down. Games and opportunities will change due to ghost games, but many favorites remain. For this reason, betting may not be advised against suddenly depriving a house-high favorite of confidence simply because it no longer receives support from domestic fans. When it comes to sports betting, the devil is probably hidden in the details. Therefore, these should be particularly interesting for you if you go into the details instead of pure win bets.
Without fans who constantly whip a team to the opposing goal in the last few minutes, late hits, for example, are likely to become less common. If these previously offered a good chance in sports betting, especially as live betting was still concluded during the course of the game, they now have to be reconsidered. If the audience is missing, there is inevitably less theatricality. Although the players will certainly continue to give their all, the last percent of performance that a player goes beyond when he has countless fans behind him is still missing.
In sports betting, over / under betting should therefore enjoy increased attention. Sometimes it makes sense to schedule one or two additional hits. With this in mind, games are becoming a little scarcer. A team that already leads with two goals can play the game in peace until the final whistle. In the same breath, the whistles of the fans, which would otherwise be expected as standard, fail to appear. The leading team can literally push a “calm ball” without being whistled by the opposing or own fans. Meanwhile, the team that is currently behind lacks the necessary vocal support.
Passive effect of ghost games: what influence does training have?
The performance as a ghost game does not “only” have an impact on the game itself. In particular, due to the strict corona requirements, many, actually all teams, suffered considerable training losses. The players were at home, on vacation or simply in quarantine, a structured and strict team training was not possible at all. This in turn influences the active gameplay and thus the sports betting significantly.
If a team lacks the continuous training, these effects are conceivable:
- The fitness of many players will not reach the usual level
- The interaction of individual players and rows of teams is not as optimized as is otherwise the case
- Little or no training was practiced, so the teams are dependent on the “familiar”
- Many game series lack that certain something that should make the difference in a tight game
Strikers and defensive lines are particularly affected. The latter hardly had the opportunity to train their instincts without active training. In addition, since normal interaction was not possible, the defensive line lacks technical harmony, so inconsistencies are more likely. That in turn could result in more mistakes and thus more goals, which can be seen in concrete terms from the odds of sports betting.
The strikers are on the other side. “Knippser” in particular rely on their “flow”. You need a certain routine and the necessary self-confidence to sink the ball in a targeted manner. It is not without reason that strikers often experience particularly high highs and very low lows. The strikers now lack many corners and ends. You don’t have the practice to instinctively make the optimal decision. In addition, some players sometimes lack the fitness to go through defensive lines by themselves. Furthermore, all strikers have not scored goals in the past few weeks simply because there have been no matches. So you have to get back on your feet and, at least in many cases, get used to snapping.
What about the cards when betting on ghost games?
Sports betting on yellow and red cards are very popular. Experienced betting fans know the players of the individual teams, how often and how badly they foul – and of course the bookmakers too. All of this is taken up by the odds on this sports betting. Now there is another aspect: The fitness is missing to elegantly solve many situations. Therefore, you could sometimes assume that cards will become more frequent because the sport becomes a little more rabid, at least in the beginning. Fouls that come too late could even result in a higher average of red cards. Likewise, technical fouls are sometimes more likely when defensive lines and midfield can no longer solve situations in a playful manner.
With regard to what is happening on the court and sports betting, all of this actually speaks for a higher average card per game. Of course, there is also a downside here, which you have to take into account when placing your bets. In fact, it is actually a very “big” downside, because it would not be surprising if many players, especially in the first ghost games, act with the handbrake applied. After all, these players are only people who have developed a completely new health and hygiene awareness in the past weeks and months. Close physical contact, even if it is part of the job, may be worth a second or third consideration for many players.
Duels could therefore be fought less often, many players will sometimes shy away from close contact with players of the other team – even if, of course, all players on the court are tested beforehand. This is where the mentality of many players will be on display. Absolute full professionals who live for football will probably not be restricted by this. Players, on the other hand, who actually see football as “only” a profession, are sometimes not quite as willing to expose themselves to a potential risk of infection. If you want to continue this thought, even events in your own environment or even the salary could influence the players.
Ghost games offer new opportunities for many teams
Not all teams have to consider ghost games as negative. They offer new opportunities not only in sports betting, but also quite normally on the lawn. Teams that found themselves in the lower quarter or even on the relegation zone before the prescribed break can see the start of the league as a new start for themselves. You should keep this in mind when betting, because previous favorites or weaker teams do not necessarily have to pick up on this trend. Sometimes weak teams even come back stronger from the break, use them to find themselves and “burn” again to make up for the bad season so far. Betting providers will take this into account in their sports betting. Therefore, it can sometimes be assumed that very extreme rashes are rather rare in the first two game days.
Home games also have an impact on this, because the actual performance can only be assessed when teams have delivered at least one home and one away game. Therefore, if you want to place bets on ghost games, you should follow the action very closely in the first few weeks. It cannot be ruled out that the odds on sports betting on the first two match days will differ significantly from the other two match days. Ultimately, this situation is no less a complete novelty for the bookmakers, as it is for everyone involved on the pitch and the coaching team. The favorites will still remain the same. Because in a ghost game, the game is completely free of external influences for 90 minutes.
Betting on ghost games offers many new challenges and opportunities
Betting may not have been as exciting for a long time as it was with the new, completely changed game mode. For all sports betting enthusiasts, the ghost games offer a previously unique opportunity to react to completely different circumstances, to use their expertise and instincts skillfully. While the heads of the bookmakers are smoking, you can rely on your gut feeling or your assessment of the situation to place your bets in such a way that you make big profits. In any case, numerous changes will be implemented with the changed game operations, both on the first and the following game days.
This gives sports betting a completely new appeal. You also get the unique opportunity to place sports bets under such special conditions. Until now, playing all games without a spectator was a novelty, but the corona pandemic will make it a new everyday life. In addition, another advantage could sometimes overtake you: Bookmakers will occasionally offer promotions and betting bonus promotions to re-open gaming operations in order to lure betting fans back to the virtual “tables”. That in turn would be another strong argument to continue placing sports betting during the ghost game season.